We can proudly call Agüimes a pearl Gran Canarian cities. Walking its narrow streets and admiring the beautiful facades of the old houses, you will breathe the medieval atmosphere of the town.
Agüimes history started shortly after the conquest of the island have been finished and for long time it was getting special privileges. Since 1487 the town received a status of an “episcopal lordship” which means that it was controled by bishops, 45 in total.
The bishops used to be the complete owners of the lands and the their products and could rent them and enjoy the benefits entirely. As a curiosity you shall know that the bishops also used to select the mayor and there was also another mayor selected by the government which leaded to many administrative troubles. Even though the episcopal lordship were cancelled in 1811, somehow in Agüimes this kind of administration survived untill almost 20 years later.
The favourable conditions of the area enabled its population even in the prehispanic times especially the upper valley of Guyadeque, where the settlements were naturally protected from the possible enemies. The water sources allowed the agriculture to grow. At the beginning of the 16th centrury the village was profiting especially from the sugar cane, meanwhile in the 20th century the main product were the tomatoes, cereals, olives, vegetables and fruits. Nowadays economy is surprisingly not based on the tourism, but the flat areas where the tomatoes used to be produced once changed into a large industrial park that atracted new habitants to the city which now hosts more then 30.000.
The city may not depend on tourism, but it offers a great experience on a day visit, or if you like, you can stay in a couple of cozy little rural hotels located directly in the historical center itself. The renovated streets and facades will make you feel like in the old times. Your artistic bone will get a special feed admiring the interesting statues decorating the streets and maybe you will learn a bit of Spanish reading the short poems written on the walls of the houses.
The indispensable Church of Saint Sebastian was built in rather a long time period since 1787 till 1940 which helped to mix it to gothic, baroque and neoclassical style and replaced the old one from the late 15th century.
Don´t forget to have a look inside the Information Center located in a 17th century house where you will understand more about the local history and even get a bit of archaeology (free entrance). And if you long for more information, there is also an interesting museum of the history of Agüimes created from an interesting mid 18th century property that used to serve as a Bishop´s Palace (entrance 3€).
There are 2 buses from Las Palmas to Agüimes every hour, bus number 11 and 21 and there is a lot of lovely coffee shops and restaurants in the historical center to taste a bit of the local cuisine.